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Download the inspect-registers.vim file from this gist. Open the file in Vim, launching with no vimrc:

vim -Nu NONE inspect-registers.vim

Source the file:

:source %

Insert text on line one:

:0put='Word by word, line by line'

Then run :w to save the buffer.

Execute operations and inspect registers

for {OPERATION} in [yw, yy, "ayw, "ayy, dw, dd, "adw, "add]

  1. QQ to clear the registers
  2. gg to place the cursor at the start of line one
  3. {OPERATION}
  4. QW to inspect the registers
  5. :e! to revert any changes to the document

Results

When {OPERATION} is yw:

:RegInspect
--- Registers ---
""   Word
"0   Word
"1
"a
"-

When {OPERATION} is yy:

:RegInspect
--- Registers ---
""   Word by word, line by line^J
"0   Word by word, line by line^J
"1
"a
"-

When {OPERATION} is "ayw:

:RegInspect
--- Registers ---
""   Word
"0
"1
"a   Word
"-

When {OPERATION} is "ayy:

:RegInspect
--- Registers ---
""   Word by word, line by line^J
"0
"1
"a   Word by word, line by line^J
"-

When {OPERATION} is dw:

:RegInspect
--- Registers ---
""   Word
"0
"1
"a
"-   Word

When {OPERATION} is dd:

:RegInspect
--- Registers ---
""   Word by word, line by line^J
"0
"1   Word by word, line by line^J
"a
"-

When {OPERATION} is "adw:

:RegInspect
--- Registers ---
""   Word
"0
"1   Word
"a   Word
"-

When {OPERATION} is "add:

:RegInspect
--- Registers ---
""   Word by word, line by line^J
"0
"1   Word by word, line by line^J
"a   Word by word, line by line^J
"-

Summary

This table summarizes the results:

{OPERATION} "" (default) "0 (yank) "1 (numbered) "a (named) "- (small delete)
yw X X - - -
yy X X - - -
"ayw X - - X -
"ayy X - - X -
dw X - - - X
dd X - X - -
"adw X - X X -
"add X - X X -
command! RegClear :let @a='' | let @-='' | let @0='' | let @1=''
command! RegInspect :reg "a-01
nnoremap QQ :RegClear<CR>
nnoremap QW :RegInspect<CR>
@wizardwerdna

Great work, Drew! Doing this exercise helped a great deal in terms of grokking and visualizing what's going on.

@ddrscott

I never realized it was possible to Gist a markdown file and have it rendered nicely.
The register info is great, too.

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